Montpellier midfielder Remy Cabella has become the latest name linked with Premier League powerhouse Chelsea, amidst rumours that Jose Mourinho is set to bolster his attacking line-up with his first acquisition of the summer.
Squawka takes a look at whether the Frenchman offers enough bang for the Blues’ buck.
Where does he play?
The France under-21 international, who was somewhat unlucky not to be included in Didier Deschamps’ France World Cup squad, is an attacking midfielder and integral part of Montpellier’s ranks.
Although La Paillade experienced an underwhelming season, which was a far cry from their maiden Ligue 1 title winning campaign just two years ago, Cabella’s reputation has been significantly enhanced due to a number of impressive displays.
He has become the talisman of Rolland Courbis’ side and the 24-year-old finished the season as the club’s top scorer with 14 goals with his contribution the main factor behind their refusal to slip into the second tier.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Cabella is the lynch pin in Montpellier’s attacking unit and created the third most chances in Ligue 1 last season with a total of 81, only bettered by the highly coveted James Rodriguez of Monaco and Marseille’s Mathieu Valbuena.
With licence to roam he is not restricted to one area of the pitch and can create a number of chances from various situations via his decent range of passing and also offer support from wide areas as well in the final third to the strikers.
A 36% take on success rate suggests his dribbling ability is poor, but the reality is that he simply tries to make things happen on his own a little too much, with a huge attempted total of 132.
However, with his role as the team’s leading performer biting off more than you can chew is excusable if you still manage to deliver. With his goal tally he clearly did just that, but with all but one of his 14 strikes scored with his right foot he may be a little over reliant on that side.
How will he fit into the Chelsea’s system?
Mourinho’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation that relies on the defensive work rate from his attacking midfield trio seems well suited to Cabella’s strengths.
Cabella is likely to find himself in the centre of the system, in a role that Oscar made his own during the opening half of the last campaign, or competing for a place on either flank.
The Brazilian’s prominence has deserted him and with Mourinho’s ruthless willingness to sell Juan Mata fresh in the memory, the youngster is far from assured of a a place in the team when he returns from the World Cup.
The Montpellier man won 65 tackles last season, a total that could not be bettered by any Chelsea midfielder, and displays his ability to work hard for the team rather than shirk his defensive responsibilities.
Given Cabella’s skill on the ball and ability to interchange with those around him, the possibility of a partnership with Eden Hazard is an exciting prospect.
The attacker has proven himself to be an accomplished finisher, but none of his goals from last season were more impressive than this individual effort against Lorient in a stunning 4-4 draw.
Stand Out Stat
Remy Cabella was given the Squawka award of “top man in team” on 14 occasions for Montpellier during the 2013/14 season.
With Financial Fair Play big on the Stamford Bridge agenda this summer as the west Londoners looks to avoid any infringement, Cabella’s relatively cheap price is appealing.
Premier League rivals Newcastle United have reportedly lodged a £6 million bid as they continue to search for a player to fill Yohan Cabaye’s void, but the final fee is reportedly set to be closer to the £8 million mark, with Montpellier unwilling to let him leave on the cheap.
But Chelsea’s ability to offer the midfielder wages of up to £90,000-a-week looks likely to swing the pendulum in their favour if they choose to make an offer.
However, following the news that David Luiz is set to join Paris Saint Germain in a deal worth up to £50 million Chelsea no longer find themselves under a significant FFP burden. The unexpected windfall for the defender’s sale will give Mourinho a much bigger chance of securing the most coveted talent in European football.
The Final Verdict
Undoubtedly talented, Cabella has steadily improved at Montpellier and deserves to be given a chance at a bigger club. However, with Chelsea and Mourinho setting the bar extremely high for new recruits as they look to challenge for silverware next season, the 24-year-old is likely to fall short or what is required.
Marquee signings are the order of the day and with a large chunk of the sum received for Luiz set to be splurged on Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa, other areas of the squad are in more need of attention.
Cabella would be likely to struggle to secure a regular starting berth and would be at risk of growing disillusioned in a similar vein to Kevin De Bruyne, who departed having made little impact on first team proceedings.
Topics: Remy Cabella